Archive for the ‘Diet’ Category

Cooking up a Storm

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

This week I’ve been hugely successful with my cooking goal. With the exception of yesterday’s lunch, every single meal this week has been prepared at home by either my husband or myself. We had things like roasted chicken, pork chops with sauerkraut, tilapia with quinoa and broccoli, stuffed pepper with turkey sausage, and other delicious eats.

It wasn’t all that hard, either. I went grocery shopping early in the week and really thought about the meals we would make. Then we froze all of the meats that we weren’t going to have that day or the next, and each morning (or the night before) we would decide what we were having for dinner and pull out the necessary food from the freezer.

This worked beautifully! What often trips me up is not being able to decide what to make, and not having things in the house to cook (or them being frozen, which I hate). There were 2 days when I almost gave in and said “Screw it: Let’s order Chinese” but my über-supportive husband stepped in and made dinner those nights. It really helps to have a sidekick!

Yesterday I was down something like 4.5 pounds from the beginning of the week. That’s absolutely absurd! Luckily, today I was only down 3 pounds, which is much more sane, lol. I really think that cooking more regularly is going to help me achieve my weight-loss goal of 20 pounds by December 31 (for those keeping track, that would put me at 156.5, as I was 176.5 at the beginning of The Hot 100). 

Regarding my other goals: I ran twice this week (not bad) and only blogged once (fail). I’ll have to work on those two more this week!

A lot of you said you were in on this challenge but had to consider your goals first. Have you come up with anything yet? You’re losing days! We’re down to 92 days left in 2012 – let’s do this!!

Constant Craving

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

All throughout my pregnancy, people kept asking me if I was craving anything ‘weird.’ I wasn’t. The most I could say is that I always wanted spicy food – the spicier, the better! – and I was really enjoying sushi (either fully-cooked or from a reputable place, not a grocery store or buffet).

But now? Oh my, there are cravings. Not for anything weird. In fact, what I’m craving is so boring and cliché it’s almost embarrassing to admit it.

Chocolate. And ice cream.

Geez, I sound like Deanna Troi from Star Trek.

And now I sound like a geek…

Anyway, I find myself wanting ice cream frequently, but since it’s not in the house – I can’t trust myself around it! – I don’t give in to that one very frequently.

Chocolate, however, is a different story. Even though I almost never buy chocolate (or if I do, it’s a single piece of chocolate – like an individually wrapped truffle), it has been in the house in one form or another, since Halloween. It’s awful.

First, there was the devil’s holiday itself. I call it that not for any religious reason, but because of the prevalence chocolate and candy. What an evil day. My husband bought a few bags of candy for trick-or-treaters, and the proportions were off just a little. As in, we could have given each trick-or-treater an entire bag. I indulged a bit over the next day or two, but honestly, I would only have a few pieces. I never dug in and ate more than say, four pieces in a day. And we’re talking about the super small York Peppermint Patties and the SUPER small Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. In fact, we still have some of those Peanut Butter Cups, and they don’t really call to me (though I’d like them to be out of the house already…)

Then there was my husband’s holiday party with work. Normally, this wouldn’t be an ongoing problem: Just a single night to indulge. But not this party. They had a CANDY TABLE. It was adorable, really: A very long table loaded with large, clear glass containers housing a wide array of chocolates and candies wrapped in Christmas papers and foils. They also provided small, red boxes (like Chinese food leftover boxes) so that you could load up! And indulge for days…

Once my box was gone though, no problem, right? Except that my husband had a box, too, which he hasn’t finished yet because he does not suffer from the same infliction that I do, so I’ve been dipping in to that from time to time (sorry, honey!).

The other problem is that at this candy table, I discovered a new variety of Hershey’s Kiss which I LOVE – Candy Cane! It’s peppermint-flavored white chocolate with tiny, crunchy, pepperminty, balls inside. I liked them so much, I hinted to my husband that it wouldn’t be an awful thing if a bag of them showed up in my stocking on Christmas. He dutifully obliged, and now I have those sitting around. Staring at me. All. The. Time.

Interspersed with the holidays have been gifts from lovely clients. Gifts of delicious chocolate in many forms: Chocolate-covered popcorn. A box of mixed chocolates. A tin of chocolate toffee. Chocolate-covered strawberries. I love my clients. And I love the thought behind the gifts. I even love the gifts themselves! But after a few days of eating way too much of them, I end up throwing the rest out. Wasteful, I know. But necessary. For my own good.

You see, I don’t have willpower. Willpower is overrated. I simply keep things out of reach, and then I don’t NEED willpower. But lately? With the gifts of chocolate that have been perpetually available for the last few months? I’m flailing.

It doesn’t help that when my daughter is crying incessantly for seemingly no reason (misfiring sensor), I feel… compelled… to eat chocolate. And it’s available. And so I do.

Hopefully, with the last of the chocolate on its way out, I can get back to craving chocolate, and not actually eating it.

At least, not every time my daughter cries without purpose.

 

Hotter Than a Match Head

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Last week I had another doctor’s appointment. This one went significantly better than the last one, which began with me breaking down into tears after being weighed (and freaking out my husband with my crazy pregnant lady hormones).

After that ‘rock bottom moment,’ I made a conscious effort to improve my eating habits. I started off with a bang – cooking more & eating out less; eating more vegetables; not eating ice cream for dessert on a daily basis; not eating whenever I damn well felt like it; etc. – and most of that stuck. The cooking has decreased a bit and the vegetables aren’t as plentiful as they should be, but all in all? Not too bad.

The exercise thing in the last five weeks has been better, too, though there is definitely still room for improvement. The heat has been a real hurdle to working out. It’s like all temperatures are amplified: If it’s a little cool, I’m freezing, and if it’s a little hot, I feel like it’s the desert in summer. So when it’s actually hot? I’m completely miserable. The other day I was outside for less than five minutes, and I felt like I was going to pass out. And given my track record with passing out, I was concerned enough to retreat to the sanctuary of my air conditioned cocoon (aka: The Couch). The heat has never made me this uncomfortable before, so I can only attribute it to the growing creature inside of me.

Despite the intense heat of late, I’ve managed to make it to Kung Fu about twice a week, on average. However, it’s so freaking hot in the school that my workouts there are a bit lackluster. (Air conditioner anyone?!) Plus, there’s only so much I can do there anyway: My kicks are little more than knee height because when I kick high my thigh hits my belly and it feels weird; I obviously can’t spar; I refuse to hold body bags for anyone to kick into; I (discreetly) avoid working with people who I feel don’t have good control; I have terrible endurance these days and require frequent breaks; etc. etc.

I’ve walked a few times, but honestly, rarely long enough to consider it an actual workout – more a (reasonably) pleasant way to spend half an hour or an environmentally friendly way to get from one place to another. (I actually really like walking for transportation, but – with this damn heat – by the time I reach my destination I often look and feel like crap. That means I have to be judicious when deciding if this is an option. Hopefully I can do this more when the temps drop a bit – soon, with any luck!)

There have also been occasional one-off bouts of exercise: Lots of volleyball a few weeks back; a kayaking adventure with some friends; a few short hikes. Really though, nothing too crazy. I mean, I know I’m not supposed to do anything crazy, but it would be healthy to increase the frequency and perhaps duration of these exercises.

What I really should be doing is yoga or something similar in my house. That way, I can be in the sweet, sweet air conditioning and still get a good workout in that’s safe for me and the baby. Have I done that though? Even once? I sure haven’t!

Despite all of the things that I could be doing better, I did make improvements between my most recent doctor’s visit and the one before it. And I only gained 4 pounds in that 4-week period. Yay! Still too much, and I still got a well-meaning discourse from my doctor, but I’m making headway.

And I didn’t cry.

I’m a work in progress.

Making Headway

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

Since I wrote the last post about my deviant snacking behavior, I’ve forced myself to be more aware of how frequently I’m eating in the afternoon/early evening. I think just admitting to the world that I have a problem has compelled me to face the issue head-on… and work to fix it.

So far, so good!

There are two main obstacles to escaping my snacking hell: 1) Habit and 2) Boredom.

Eating frequently between lunch and dinner has become a routine for me. For instance, every day around 3 or 4, I leave my office and go downstairs to get myself a cup of tea and a snack. I take them both back up to my office and continue working until about 5 (when I usually get another snack!). This week, I’ve forced myself to either not go downstairs at all, or to stop at the cup of tea and just go back upstairs without getting something to chew on.

I’ve started staying in my office later than usual, too – more like 6pm than my usual 5pm. This is good because it’s less time that I’m bored and looking for something to do with my hands, plus I get more work done and make more money (except when I get sucked in to playing Zuma Blitz on Facebook…)

I will still eat a snack if I’m actually hungry, but I’m pushing myself to first ask myself if I am hungry, or if I just want to eat because it’s habit or I’m bored. The fact of the matter is: I like eating, and I have to be more aware of when I’m eating on autopilot, or I will never reach my goals.

Thank you all for your support and commiseration! It makes me feel more normal, and that goes a long way!

Struggling.

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Let me tell you (and by ‘you’ I mean the 2 of you who are still reading this): I am STRUGGLING.

In general, I eat well. I cleaned up most of my bad eating habits a few years ago when I decided to make a change with myself and my life. I removed high calorie junk foods, reduced portion sizes, started cooking more, ate more vegetables and whole grains, seriously cut back on snacking, cut out the vast majority of processed foods – and nearly all processed foods containing additives & preservatives (like the dreaded high fructose corn syrup).

I’m still doing great with most of those things.It’s the snacking that’s getting me.

I can’t seem to stop! They’re all healthy snacks, there are just way too many of them. Between the hours of about 3 & 7, I eat.

And eat.

And eat.

And eat.

Each time I eat, I choose a healthy snack, and a reasonable amount of it. But that doesn’t satisfy me. So I pick something else to eat. Still healthy, still a reasonable amount, but another one. And that doesn’t satisfy me, either. So the pattern continues.

Let me give you a specific example: Yesterday, on my way home from a meeting at about 3pm, I ate a granola bar that I happened to still have in my purse from when I was out of town last week. After I got home, I worked until about 5, when I ate a banana, with the teeniest smear of peanut butter and a sprinkling of granola. Fifteen minutes later, I ate the last of some home fries leftover from Sunday’s breakfast. An hour after that, I ate a grapefruit. Not long after that, I had ANOTHER granola bar (different flavor!). Then I went to Kung Fu, so I had a break from food for about 2 hours, at which time I had dinner.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

Now, granted, yesterday was worse than usual, but this is not a new thing. I know I wasn’t actually hungry for each of those snacks. So what was I doing? Why was I shoving food in my mouth even though I didn’t actually want it?

I was bored. And I like eating. And that’s all that mattered at that point in time.

I thought I had a better handle on the mental aspect of food and had control of my eating habits. I guess I still have some work to do!

I’m certainly not back at the beginning. At least all of my snacks are healthy now!

It’s so very frustrating though. As I scoured the kitchen for my next snack, I thought about how I wasn’t hungry. That I was just bored. And that this is the exact reason that I’ve been bouncing up and down with my weight, losing and gaining the same 5 pounds for months and months on end.

But did that keep me from eating what I wanted to eat? Not even a little.

Think I need therapy?

Cooking Up A Storm

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Unlike the last 2 months, I’ve been cooking more and eating out less. In fact, my husband and I cooked up a bit of a storm this past weekend. We really enjoy cooking together, we just need to plan better so we have ingredients on hand with which to cook. I’m working on that.

Since there are only two of us, making a big meal means a bunch of leftovers, and – while I enjoy leftovers – I tend to choose my meals based on what I’m in the mood for, and not based on what I have available, which often means leftovers get wasted in favor of something else I’d prefer at the moment.

Enter: The Freezer.

Freezing foods is fantastic. On Saturday, I cooked a full lasagna with the intention of freezing individual portions into “pasta blocks” for future lunches and/or dinners. Lasagna is a particularly good food to do this with because, somehow, lasagna is always better the second day. Plus, my husband isn’t a huge fan of red-sauced foods (freak) so I always have a lot left over for freezing. Incidentally, I used a combination of lasagna noodles and zucchini slices for this lasagna, and it turned out really good – cuts down on calories and increases nutritional content. (I also used whole wheat pasta, less sauce and mozzarella than usual, and low fat ricotta and mozzarella cheeses. Still delicious!)

Earlier in the week we made red curry and froze those leftovers too, so I’m sitting pretty for lunch for quite a while. Between those things, the roasted chicken and stuffing leftovers I had for lunch today and the other quick meals I tend to make regularly, I think I have a nice meal plan going. I wonder what we’ll make this weekend!

This whole freezing individual portions of cooked meals has me feeling brilliant. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner!

In fact, I think I’m actually going to agree to my get that extra freezer in the basement my husband’s been wanting. As long as he continues to help me in the kitchen, that is!

Third Quarter Melt Down

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I love that a number of you are with me on the Third Quarter Melt Down! It’s so important to have goals – long term and short term – so I think this will be good for everyone. I’d love to hear about your progress as the weeks go on, so please feel free to keep me updated in the comments, on Facebook, via Twitter (@_kimbolina), or send me an email if you prefer (kimberly@watermelonwaistline.com).

It’s now one week into the Third Quarter, which also means I’m one week into P90X. When I started, my weight was 177. This morning, I was 174.5. A 2.5 pound loss this week? I’ll take it!

While I’m sure that has a lot to do with the hour-long intense workouts I’ve been doing each day, I know the other part of that is my diet, which I’m thrilled to announce has been hugely improved over the last few days. I’m once again logging my food (thank you, My Food Diary), which really keeps me accountable for what I put in my mouth. I’ve found that much of what I’ve been eating has been fine, but definitely not everything. Also, many of my portion sizes have been out of whack in the last few months: I’ve reverted to eating as much as my 6’2″ husband. Not cool.

The Third Quarter Melt Down starts off with a bang! If this rate of loss keeps up (I don’t expect it to, but it would be a nice surprise!), I may have to up my goal! Right now, I’ll just enjoy the fact that I only have 10.5 more pounds to go.

How are the rest of you doing? Anyone else want in on this? I’m not staging a contest with rules or anything: The Third Quarter Melt Down is just a personal challenge to use the next 3 months to step up your weight-loss and/or training efforts. Set a goal for yourself and then take the necessary steps to reach them. For me, it’s lose 13 pounds by my birthday (October 5) and I’ll be focusing on my diet much more closely and continuing with P90X.

Let’s do this!

Watermelon Season is Here!

Monday, May 24th, 2010

I’m so excited: I bought a watermelon yesterday for just $3.99, which means it’s officially Watermelon Season in my book! Watermelon is one of my all-time favorite fruits… I don’t want to look like one, but I love to eat them!

I cut half of it up to enjoy with dinner tonight, and it was finger-licking, lip-smacking, melt-in-your-mouth delicious. When I fed a bite to my husband while he manned the grill, he said “Holy crap! That’s quite possibly the best watermelon I’ve ever had!” I couldn’t agree more. Sweet, juicy, bright pink – simply perfect.

Run out and buy yourself a watermelon – and then eat it. It’ll fill you up with its delicious fiberifficness!

How to Choose a Watermelon

  • Look the watermelon over: You are looking for a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free from bruises, cuts or dents.
  • Lift it up: The watermelon should be heavy for its size. Watermelon is 92% water; most of the weight is water.
  • Turn it over: The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot from where it sat on the ground and ripened in the sun.

Health Benefits of Watermelon

  • Watermelon is the Lycopene Leader in fresh produce, having higher concentrations of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. In fact, fresh watermelon contains higher levels of lycopene than fresh tomatoes – a 2-cup serving of watermelon contains an average of 18.16 mg and one medium-sized tomato contains 4 mg.
  • Watermelon has heart healthy properties because it is naturally low in saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol.
  • Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself: A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamin A (important for optimal eye health), Vitamin B6 (used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals [neurotransmitters], such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic), and Vitamin C (which helps bolster your immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.

For more information on watermelon’s health benefits – and all things watermelon! – visit www.watermelon.org.

Gluttony

Monday, April 19th, 2010

My husband and I recently returned from a mini-vacation to Arizona. He won a big award at work (yay!), and his company flew him and “a guest” out for a banquet*. Since we have friends there, as well, we decided to stay a few extra days.

Much fun was had by all. However, the four days we were away were detrimental to both my eating habits and my half marathon training.

I didn’t run a single time we were gone. This means I missed 2 mid-week runs, and Sunday’s long run. I would have done the long run today, but I got terribly sick last night after getting back home, and – though I’m much better today – I was definitely not up for running 11 miles. Or any miles…

I have a sneaking suspicion that getting sick was my body’s way of telling me it was unhappy with the food I had been giving it. Obviously we ate out a lot – that’s what you do on vacation – but I didn’t even try to make good, healthy decisions. I ordered whatever I wanted, and then ate the entire thing. Every single time.

I don’t know why I was going so crazy with the food. It was like I couldn’t help myself. I gorged myself over and over again, to the point of feeling bloated and gross. And then I did the exact same thing at the next meal.

It bothers me that I could go so ridiculously overboard – and for so many days in a row. I’ve overindulged before, but typically that’s for a meal or a day, not 4 straight days. AND without much** exercise!

I’m happy to report that at least I’m back on track today. It feels good to eat food not prepared by a restaurant. I didn’t run today, but I went to hip hop, and that was good. Mostly.***

*This banquet required that I buy a fancy dress. More on that later.

**We did climb the to the top of Camelback Mountain on Friday, which was both difficult and tons of fun. Photos and story to come!

***More to come on that later, too.

Bad Food = Bad Workout

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Neither my husband nor I had to work on Friday. We had a lovely morning together, walking around our neighborhood to run some errands and get breakfast.

A BIG breakfast.

Too much food. Delicious, greasy food. Enough food to hold us over until about 3pm. When we went out for lunch.

A BIG lunch.

Too much food. Delicious, salty food. Enough food to hold us over until after 9pm. You know you ate too much for lunch when you’re still not hungry at 9pm…

Regardless of my cuisine carelessness, I had to run 5 miles that day. I was waiting for the food to settle before going out, but at 7, I had to reevaluate that plan, as the day’s food was still churning and the sun was preparing to go down. So I went out anyway.

It was a terrible run. I felt bloated and gross the entire time. I had a cramp for the first 3 miles. My overall pace was more than a minute slower than usual. I wanted it to end before it even started.

Learn from my mistakes, folks: Bad food = Bad workout.